Transformation of higher education sector through massive open online courses in Saudi Arabia

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Higher education needs to respond to ever changing demands and expectations of present and future potential students. In order to amplify access to educational materials for students who endeavor to learn, various methodologies are used with the help of technology. Education is redefined and democratized by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts by a click of a mouse. Higher education institutions are venturing to gain better understanding of the phenomenon of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and its paradigm shift towards open global education. This study endeavors to study how MOOCs can be seamlessly integrated into the present scenario of traditional and learning environment. The commercialization with marketing of MOOCs in KSA’s higher education sector is also discussed. Finally, this study recommends adaptive home grown organic introduction of blended learning with the MOOC platform. With the advent of internet technology, students are now able to access diversified and latest courses which are participatory, collaborative with digital skills, well distributed, engaging and self-paced. This concept enables them to attain lifelong learning and brings scalability at a virtual zero cost to the students. The overall impact of technology on the learning management system will be explored. An attempt is made to introduce and accelerate learning and teaching strategies and tools to enhance student employability with their present usage of technology. The objective of the study is to comprehend the readiness level of learners by incorporating open learning platform, build an innovation model, which involves stakeholders with a holistic perspective that will enable a congenial learning management system, how the deanship of information technology and distance learning change course from a support-based deanship to a strategic-based deanship.

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    • Figure 1. Descriptive statistics
    • Figure 2. Potential areas to pursue online courses
    • Figure 3. Perceptions on online learning
    • Figure 4. Factors affecting the benefits of pursuing MOOCS
    • Figure 5. Hierarchy of MOOC
    • Figure 6. Proposed structure of MOOC at Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    • Table 1. Descriptive statistics
    • Table 2. Potential areas to pursue online courses
    • Table 3. Perceptions on online learning
    • Table 4. Factors affecting the benefits of pursuing MOOCS
    • Table 5. The Eigen values of the factors affecting the benefits of pursuing MOOC